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Meet Nick Kennedy of Paintwithnick in Glendale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nick Kennedy.

Nick, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started working in animation three years after college. I began at a small animation studio in Georgia, and I worked there for a couple of years, constantly applying to jobs in Los Angeles.

Eventually, I was able to land a 1-month contract position at Disney, and that was enough for me! I packed up my entire house (you can afford a house in Georgia) into my car and drove to LA.

Fortunately, that one month job decided to keep me on board, and I was able to start settling into my new life. Slowly I made connections and friends, started getting more of a reputation as a professional artist and began to take freelance work.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has been a road full of twists and turns, unexpected pivots and failure, but I was always determined to keep trying. Growing up in Alabama, I was unaware of the entertainment industry. I definitely didn’t know how an artist would go about making money.

I moved from Alabama to Georgia at 18 and started attending art school. I usually held two-three part-time jobs at once while going to school full time. I was not the best artist in school or in high school, but I was by far the most determined. I told myself that the only backup plan would be continuing to work in fast food.

I struggled to find a concentration, I dabbled with every aspect of art, not knowing where I would try and find work, or if I would even be good enough to find work. I was not born with a natural gift for drawing or painting, just the inclination towards learning more about it, and so I spent ALL my time studying and practicing to become the best artist that I was able to be.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Paintwithnick – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I would break up my business into three categories, Studio work, Fine Art, and Teaching.

For the Studio work, my specialty is backgrounds for animation. Currently, I work full time at Disney Digital Network, helping to create amazing things. I also freelance for various other animation studios, creating paintings that help form the visual language of film or TV shows.

The steady paycheck from studio work allows me to spend most of my free time practicing my traditional painting skills, I go outside and paint the landscape in oils, observing how light and color affects the world around us — attempting to say something honest about the world and myself through the paintings.

Not only does this fine art aspect of my art help me to create better studio work but it is growing into a larger part of my business. As I kept sharing these paintings online, collectors and patrons started reaching out, and I began selling most of the paintings I create online.

All of these things only help to make me a better teacher, I create video workshops online that people can purchase and watch on demand while also offering 1:1 mentorship to students and young artists. As I grow, I hope to start teaching more, hosting workshops on painting or designing and helping the future generation of artist to become better than any of us…

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and the least?
Pick a direction, drive for an hour or two and you’ll end up somewhere amazing and beautiful! LA is one of the only cities I know of that you can visit the beach, the mountains, or the desert in one day.

I spend most of my weekends taking short road trips around LA, I want to get intimately acquainted with the landscapes surrounding us. I don’t really like all the people though, so I tend to stay out of downtown…

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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